Recommended Sources

The purpose of this page is to signpost  information from across plant health sectors that is relevant to the natural environment.

 

About This Page

Much information is available online and in print to help identify disease symptoms, the organisms that cause them, and to provide guidance on management and biosecurity. Here we have collected sources we judge to be generally reliable for information on these topics. You can use the Resource Type button to filter, search by keyword, or scroll through all together. It should be noted that most information on these webpages concerns non-native invasive species (INNS) or those which have recently become problematic, possibly due to climate change. However, there are many native pathogens that have evolved with their hosts and are commonly encountered in the natural environment. See Getting Started for good places to begin in identifying both native and INN pests.

Getting Started

Good places to start in the identification process include the CABI Fieldguide for the identification of Damage on Woody Sentinel plants, CABI Plantwise Diagnostic Field Guide (for crops but very useful) and also Diseases and Disorders of Forest Trees. Futhermore there are several websites with information on common disease causing organisms in the natural environment including the tree decay fungi webpage of GMC Arboriculture and First Nature. If you need help identifying insects then you could contact the Royal Entomological Society, the RHS, or SASA.The Aboricultural Association also have a book shop where excellent guides can be purchased on 'Fungi on Trees', 'Tree Pest and Diseases' 'Managing Insects and Mites on Woody Plants' and 'Diagnosis of Ill Health in Trees'. Detailed information on most disease causing organisms can also be found on the Plantwise Knowledge Bank Database (Plantwise fact sheets). For general information on tree diseases, the Forest Pathology wesbite is very useful. Whether the organisms are INNS or native pests and diseases, be sure to practice good biosecurity and take control measures where necessary.

Reporting Notifiable Pests

Most pests encountered will not be notifiable, but if after checking diagnostic and specific resources you think you may have encountered a notifiable pest it is important that you report it quickly. In forest trees in Scotland notify Scottish Forestry via TreeAlert or by email, or if in any other plants notify the Horticulture and Marketing Unit at SASA. Outwith Scotland consult the Plant Health Information Portal for other UK reporting contacts.

Resource Details
Caledon computer game

Manage a simulated forest in the face of disease epidemics and other threats. Computer game for ages 8+

EPPO communication kits

Downloadable posters from the EPPO Don't Risk It biosecurity campaign for plant movement with travel

FERA poster

Turning over a clean leaf - guidance in the forms of posters for biosecurity in woodlands and forests, parks and gardens, nurseries and gardens centres, and the countryside

Forest Research

Tree pest and disease posters

Scottish Forestry fact page

Keep It Clean biosecurity advice tailored to the public

Scottish Government guidance

Scottish Government 'Plants get ill too' leaflet